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Issue 1088

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Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18

Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com
Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Robert Glasper + Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def): Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Robert Glasper + Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def): Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com MYasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com Yasiin Bey (formally Mos Def) + Robert Glasper: Troxy, London 8/3/18 @bluesandsoul.com

Just over a year ago I was in a packed-out Kentish Town Forum for a show branded Yasiin Bey's farewell London performance. The artist formerly known as Mos Def has been around for some time, and said he was retiring from music to concentrate on other projects. But hip-hop runs through his veins, and it was little surprise to see him back onstage - in fact this was the second time I've seen him since his 'retirement'.

This time he's been paired with bandleader and producer Robert Glasper, who led a trio of musicians to work their way through some classic Mos Def material.

It was a perfect combination. Bey likes to ad-lib, but in the past his shows have seemed disjointed.

With Glasper and co able to fall in behind him whenever he went on a tangent, it turned into a stunning musical blend. The group sounded superb on "Auditorium" and Bey was given space to freestyle, which he did to great effect.

He appeared relaxed onstage, joking with the crowd that he was the toughest guy in the building when a minor scuffle broke out in front of the stage.

A cover of "Poison" and a nod to Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On" were among the highlights of the set. And he was joined onstage with superb Laura Mvula for an incredible rendition of "Umi Says", which in Glasper's hands became a feelgood jam.

There are rumours that Bey is working with Talib Kweli on a new Black Star album... I can only hope that's true, because on the evidence I saw at The Troxy, he still has plenty to give.

PHOTOS: DAVE BURKE
Words Dave Burke

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